Gay marriage is mostly about benefits.
Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm just trying to simplify things by separating the benefits afforded by marriage from the "emotional" aspects. This is not a "yes" vs "no" debate. There's no right or wrong. I just want expressions of ideas. By not having sides I hope to reduce the feeling of being threatened, attacked and the need to go on the defensive. I doubt I'll succeed but here it goes.
If gay marriage was strictly about expressing one's love, and commitment to another human being in front of firends and relatives, then gays would either have a non-religious ceremony and be done with it or petition/boycott/picket religious groups to perform the ceremony (regardless of legal benefits). But the fact that gays get very emotional about this issue means that there is an "emotional" aspect to gay marriage as well.
Instead, gays have been petitioning the government in order to get the law changed. One may argue that once the law is changed that religious institutions would have to follow suit (thus killing two birds with one stone) but the separation of church and state would prevent the government from telling religious institutions who they can and cannot marry. Therefore, if the law is changed then their only gain is in benefits. But if benefits were the whole story, then gays would focus strictly on obtaining said benefits and forget about the word "marriage."
I'll go out on a limb and claim that most people see the need for the government to promote certain behavior over another. For example, penalizing smoking in order to promote the good health of its citizens which in turn saves money spent on health care.
But having said that, if the government intends to promote heterosexual behaviors over homosexual behaviors, it has to openly specify which specific behavior it is promoting. For example, if the government wants to promote the reproductive behavior of heterosexuals (for the benefit of replacement level fertility) then it needs to provide benefits specifically for that behavior. In other words, it cannot tie that behavior to marriage.
Why make the distinction? Because I want to know exactly what it is that the government is trying to promote by giving married couples certain benefits. I want to know what those benefits are. I want to know which marriage benefits (if any) are not allowed under a civil union.
Why not just Google it? Because some of you guys are really good at Googling and finding nice visual aids ;)
So, if that's what I'm after, why the debate title? It gets people fired up and ready to debate and argue. I mean, think about why you clicked on this debate. In short, it gets me noticed (I guess I'm an attention whore) ;)
I disagree Joe...it is about benefits but all manner of such. It's mostly about human rights and there should be no line of distinction drawn whether a person is striaght or gay. It is also about the love that exists between two people and therefore one wishes to be certain that the proper rights are included in their relationship. A relationship of great longevity can go awry in the end without the necessary 'contracts' and benefits you speak of and that is just not right nor is it fair to either party.
OK, that's all fine and good bu I want to know exactly what it is that the government is trying to promote by giving married couples certain benefits. I want to know what those benefits are. I want to know which marriage benefits (if any) are not allowed under a civil union.
I am a woman who happens to be straight. I fully support gay rights and gay marriage, after all, the pursuit of happiness is for all, not just straights. While being married would afford me more benefits, discounts on car insurance, lower tax bracket, I want to get married because I am in love with the man of my dreams. I want a wedding (whether in a church or on the beach) and I want my wedding certificate, just as I would want my birth certificate, or my library card. I don't want to be married for the benefits, and I doubt that is what the gay community is after, I believe they are after EQUAL rights, If the benefits of marriage are afforded to me, they should be afforded to anyone who is married, Gay and Straight alike.
| Side: Equal Rights
I'm just trying to simplify things by...
I think that's the problem with 99.9% of what you put on this site.
Most things aren't simple at all.
But I would imagine that the first issue is a general feeling of discrimination, and the second is the lack of benefits which prove the general feeling of discrimination to be well founded.
You have hit the nail squarely on the head my friend.
the first issue is a general feeling of discrimination
A lot of people complicate the issue with "feelings" and emotions instead of facts and figures. You then point to "a lack of benefits" without ever stating what benefits are lacking. Which so called "married benefits" are lacking from a civil union? I'm beginning to believe that the real issue is "the feeling of lack of benefits" which brings me back to my original debate, "It's mostly about benefits." ;)
And people should feel discriminated against when they have less rights than others for no reason. That's what discrimination is.
It's so weird when "straight" people care anyway. Makes me question your motives... maybe your feeling discriminated against as a gay person who feels they had to get married?
I mean, why else would you care?
Must be you feel that if you have to pretend to be straight so should everyone else.
Here's my thing: I believe gay people should have the same rights as straight, but I do have a hard time relating to it being such a HUGE deal....I mean, as you've already said, they can still have ceremonies, and it seems kind of silly to have a huge battle over a tax deduction(as insensitive as that sounds). Yet I know it's not about that...it's about being seen as equal before the law. So I guess it does matter...it's just one of those things that can be seen from different angles. Basically, on both sides of the issue it's a matter of principal. Right side: We don't want you changing the definition of marriage/changing our society. Left side: We want to have our love be just as legit as theirs.
So...there are my thoughts on the subject. :) If anyone has any input, curse words, or clarifications, have at it.
Well..., If they want a legal piece of paper in order for their love to mean something, they can go to a lawyer and have him draw something up. They want commitment? Then they can specify what it is they expect to get out of the union during and afterwords (in the event it doesn't pan out). Specify exactly what it is they are willing to give up during the relationship and afterwords (in the event it doesn't pan out). Then, if it doesn't pan out, they can come to me and tell me how happy that piece of paper made them feel. ;)